Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 7, pp 1976–1984 | Cite as

Transcatheter Embolotherapy for Gastrointestinal Bleeding: A Single Center Review of Safety, Efficacy, and Clinical Outcomes

  • Felix Y. Yap
  • Benedictta O. Omene
  • Milan N. Patel
  • Thomas Yohannan
  • Jeet Minocha
  • M. Grace Knuttinen
  • Charles A. Owens
  • James T. Bui
  • Ron C. GabaEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to assess safety, efficacy, and clinical outcomes following transcatheter arterial embolization (TAE) of acute gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.

Materials and Methods

Ninety-five patients (male:female ratio = 53:42, mean age 62 years) that underwent 95 TAEs for GI hemorrhage between 2002 and 2010 were retrospectively studied. Seventy-six of 95 (80 %) patients had upper GI bleeds and 19/95 (20 %) patients had lower GI bleeds. A mean of 7 (range 0–27) packed red blood cell units were transfused pre-procedure, and 90/95 (95 %) procedures were urgent or emergent. Twenty-seven of 95 (28 %) patients were hemodynamically unstable. Measured outcomes included procedure technical success, adverse events, and 30-day rebleeding and mortality rates.


Bleeding etiology included peptic ulcer disease (45/95, 47 %), cancer (14/95, 15 %), diverticulosis (13/95, 14 %), and other (23/95, 24 %). Vessels embolized (n = 109) included gastroduodenal (42/109, 39 %), pancreaticoduodenal (22/109, 20 %), gastric (21/109, 19 %), superior mesenteric (12/109, 11 %), inferior mesenteric (8/109, 7 %), and splenic (4/109, 4 %) artery branches. Technical success with immediate hemostasis was achieved in 93/95 (98 %) cases. Most common embolic agents included coils (66/109, 61 %) and/or gelatin sponge (19/109, 17 %). Targeted versus empiric embolization were performed in 57/95 (60 %) and 38/95 (40 %) cases, respectively. Complications included bowel ischemia (4/95, 4 %) and coil migration in 3/95 (3 %). 30-day rebleeding rate was 23 % (22/95). Overall 30-day mortality rate was 18 % (16/89). Empiric embolization resulted in similar rebleeding (23 vs 24 %) but higher mortality (31 vs 9 %) rates compared to embolization for active extravasation.


TAE controlled GI bleeding with high technical success, safety, and efficacy, and should be considered when endoscopic therapy is not feasible or unsuccessful.


Gastrointestinal bleeding Transcatheter embolotherapy Safety Efficacy 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Y. Yap
    • 1
  • Benedictta O. Omene
    • 2
  • Milan N. Patel
    • 2
  • Thomas Yohannan
    • 2
  • Jeet Minocha
    • 1
  • M. Grace Knuttinen
    • 1
  • Charles A. Owens
    • 1
  • James T. Bui
    • 1
  • Ron C. Gaba
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Section of Interventional RadiologyUniversity of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences SystemChicagoUSA
  2. 2.College of MedicineUniversity of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences SystemChicagoUSA

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